Just over a quarter of a century ago, Pope Saint John Paul II released his encyclical, Evangelium vitae, in response to the ever-increasing attacks against human life and dignity. Each Friday, we aim to explore a different aspect the prophetic papal document.
Today’s passage drawn from Section 13 of the encyclical where Pope John Paul tackles the intrinsic link between the use of artificial contraception and abortion:
“Indeed, the pro-abortion culture is especially strong precisely where the Church's teaching on contraception is rejected... But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree,” Pope Saint John Paul II, Section 13, Evangelium vitae.
Reflecting upon this passage today is Jenny Ingles, Director of Fertility and Life Ministries for the Diocese of Lansing. Jenny writes:
“It's often times hard to accept that contraception and abortion are linked. After all, we're told that if women have access to contraception, then they won't have unplanned pregnancies and, thus, will not turn to abortion. The reality is vastly different though.”
“The underlying decision to reject life but still engage in life-producing activities is present in both contraception and abortion. A couple who uses contraception has already rejected the possibility of life so when the contraceptive fails to prevent a pregnancy, it is difficult, if not impossible, for many to suddenly accept this new life. This leads many to turn to abortion.”
“The other lie that is often perpetuated is that contraceptives are nearly ‘full-proof’. This is far from the truth. The average birth control pill fails to prevent pregnancy between eight and ten percent of the time. Considering how many women are using the birth control pill on a daily basis (often times in non-permanent relationships), the number of unplanned, unwanted pregnancies is astronomical.”
“This link between contraception and abortion is inseparable. And in order to truly end abortion in our country, it cannot be ignored.”
Pope Saint John Paul II, pray for us!